Volkswagen (VLKAY), Europe's top carmaker, plans to invest €51.6 billion ($71 billion) over the next five years.

The company's supervisory board approved the investments in plants, vehicles and development for the nine Volkswagen brands, Bloomberg News reported.

Volkswagen's Chinese joint ventures will spend an extra €10.6 billion through 2015.

The company hopes to sell more than 8 million cars by 2012 and 10 million as early as 2015, Bloomberg News said. That's a full three years earlier than its official target.

"They're taking the necessary steps in lucrative markets like China, India and the U.S.," said Joerg Bode, who represents the German state of Lower Saxony on the company's supervisory board. "They've committed themselves to ambitious targets under the 'strategy 2018'"

Lower Saxony owns 20% of the automaker.

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